Can glasses considered be the archetype of the only eye accessory that has truly evolved into an art form? It is worth mentioning that anything which is considered as art has to undergo several decades of changes. These changes give rise to certain ways in which that thing is expressed & appreciated consequently. In the same vein, glasses have also metamorphosed into various shapes & sizes from RX safety glasses
to your traditional fashion eyewear like other tangible things, that have gained appreciation for their own aesthetics. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different styles of eyewear that have manifested themselves over the years.
Aviators were championed by Ray-Ban in 1930s. These pilot-glasses were primarily made to protect fighter jet pilots eyesight from excessive sunlight, thus earning the name aviator. What further bolstered its usage in the coming years was the second world war which elevated its popularity to new heights. This becoming shape is still favored among men who prefer a retro or classic look in their prescription glasses
Theses glasses were exclusively made for women in the 1960s in America, when the soaring highs of second wave feminism were in full swing. Cat-Eyed Glasses symbolized everything that a women stood for, her own individuality. This was the first time that an eye accessory was made solely for women. Cat Eyed eyeglasses were the epitome of a feminists fashion statement. As women chose to rise up with audacity to reclaim the ownership of their bodies, this liberated sense of achievement was well cashed in by the booming businesses of ad agencies at the time, thus letting women define their own style by spending money on accessories. Nevertheless, cat eyed glasses are still quite relevant today as many women consider it either culturally significant or aesthetically relatable.
These came out in the latter half of the 18th century. Scissors eyeglasses were among the first to replace the monocle or single eyed glasses, which required a lot of effort to keep them in position by means of squinting. It was also the first time people experienced using dual lenses. They were often made in elaborate designs & decorated for the bourgeois classes.
These glasses were sported more as a fashion accessory rather than an eyewear with vision correction. They were famously worn at different mask parties, operas & other festive activities. Lorgnette was viewed as more of a status symbol by the upper class strata. Somehow, they still remain historically significant.
Who could forget Morpheus rimless levitating lenses in The Matrix? Franklin D Roosevelt also famously sported these glasses as engraved on the 2014 Presidential Dollar Coin. Pince-nez gained currency in late 19th century. This clip-on eyewear provided people with an aesthetic of minimalism. They were certainly a far cry from traditional over-the-ear eyewear, characterized as a breath of fresh air in the world of glasses.